It was magical. If I had to sum it up in 3 words I’d say “color, taste, music”. The buildings, people’s clothing, food, and artisan art were all of very bright colors. Probably the rugged landscape, lush vegetation and the sun did their part to color the place. The food was simply amazing. We, of course, tried all the moles we could, but beyond them we indulged in the culinary creativity of local chefs experimenting with non-traditional ingredients. Several times I definitely felt like I was not even in Mexico – arugula with nuts and honey dressing salads and tuna tartar were a common offering on the menu in this place.
And the music…there were sounds streaming from unexpected places. A female singer with sad voice was singing a lone lover’s song one night, the other night a choir of school children was performing something very merry, and even the begging man’s accordion tune was touching.
Beyond the city itself we went to see Hierve del Agua – a natural monument with a calcifed waterfall and sulfur springs. We also saw the biggest and oldest tree in Mexico – Tule tree – that would require 47 people to be hugged. And we also learned how the indigenous people create dies for their yarn – for example, the red color comes from tiny insects that are collected from the cactus plants.
When we got back to the capital, people were asking us if we felt safe in Oaxaca given the recent uprisings. Honestly, for the four days I was there I forgot the region was in turmoil. Maybe it was because that week nothing was happening, or maybe it was really because I was in a happy tourist bliss.